Creativity can help you accomplish your dreams, but the ambition to follow your dreams can take you even further. For Salvadoran brothers Ever and Marvin, the drive to chase their dreams runs in the family.
After graduating from high school, 22-year-old Ever received a scholarship through Unbound that allowed him to study cookery. Ever grew up watching his father cook and make tortillas for the family, though in many other families mothers are the ones accomplishing these tasks. Ever realized that, even in a culture where women traditionally make the meals, men can also cook.
“If my father was able to do it,” Ever said, “I can do it, too. … I feel proud of my degree in cookery. Many people say that they like the way I cook. I feel satisfied to see people satisfied with my food.”
Ever continues to dream. He wants to attend a professional culinary school so that he can become a chef one day.
Ever’s younger brother, 19-year-old Marvin, has his own aspirations.
In the second grade Marvin took an interest in poetry and started reciting poems. He enjoyed it so much that by the age of 13 he was starting to write his own poems.
“I liked reading books, but it feels nice to compose phrases,” Marvin said.
Before long, Marvin was sharing his poems in front of audiences. The first time he shared one of his poems was because the poet who was scheduled to recite got sick and couldn’t attend. After Marvin filled in, he was invited back as a featured poet.
Seeing Marvin achieve his dreams brings joy to his family.
“The first time we saw him sharing his poems, all our family members were supporting him,” Ever said. “But I saw in my mother’s eyes that she was looking at him with the same look she probably had when my brother [took] his first steps.”
“The first time I saw [Marvin]… next to international poets, they called him ‘the young Salvadoran poet,’ and I started crying,” their mother, Mercedes, said. “It is amazing that he is not my little one anymore. Now he is a writer.”
The brothers attribute much of their success to the advice of their parents and the support from their sponsors. Ever is sponsored by Nelson from New York and Marvin is sponsored by Mary Ellen from Maryland. Ever and Marvin say they were able to avoid negative influences because their parents kept them busy and walked through life with them.
That closeness continues now that Ever and Marvin are young men, their mother said.
“Sometimes they say ‘Mom, would you go with us?’ Every idea they have, they trust and include me,” Mercedes said.
In fact, everyone in the family invests in one another.
“In our family, someone starts a project and suddenly without noticing we are all involved,” Marvin said.
Marvin and Ever both enjoy a painting technique which uses coffee beans. With their help, younger sisters Irma and Roxana have started creating jewelry also using coffee beans.
“[Our family] is open to new and different things,” Ever said. “Most of the time people think that what makes you stop dreaming are the few possibilities we have to succeed. [But] just because we don’t have money, we aren’t going to stop.
“As my brother Marvin says, ‘Invention comes from a need.’ If we don’t have access to something, we need to create it.”
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